Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Good morning from the United States Embassy in Dhaka! I’m Ambassador Earl Miller, and I’m pleased to have a chance to speak directly with you and the U.S. Embassy’s nearly seven million Facebook followers.
I’m coming to you live via Facebook because today is an important day for the U.S. – Bangladesh relationship. It’s important for the nearly one million Rohingya refugees living in Cox’s Bazar. It’s important for the hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis who opened their hearts to host the refugees. It’s important for the Government of Bangladesh, which opened its borders to provide a safe haven. And, it’s important for the international donor community and NGOs working with the Government of Bangladesh to address this ongoing crisis.
Today is important because just a few hours ago, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States announced a new contribution to help address the Rohingya crisis.
Since the start of the crisis in 2017, the United States has contributed nearly $542 million and is the leading donor of humanitarian assistance.
Today, we pledge a new contribution of more than $127 million. $89 million will go to programs in Bangladesh, assisting both Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities.
This new funding brings the total U.S. contribution to more than $669 million since the outbreak of violence in August 2017. The majority of those funds — more than $553 million — is for programs inside Bangladesh.
The United States is proud to provide this support. It saves lives. It provides protection, emergency shelter, food, safe drinking water, and healthcare for those affected by the crisis. And, it helps prepare Rohingya for voluntary, safe, and dignified repatriation when conditions in Myanmar are conducive to such returns.
This funding provides assistance to Bangladeshi communities hosting refugees. The Government of Bangladesh, the United Nations, and donor nations like the United States worked together to develop joint plans to ensure all affected populations, including host communities, have access to quality services.
This new humanitarian assistance is just one way the United States has partnered with Bangladesh over the years. Since 1971, the United States has provided more than seven billion dollars in development assistance to Bangladesh. Last year alone, the U.S. government, through USAID, provided over two hundred and nineteen million dollars to improve the lives of people across Bangladesh, increasing food security and economic opportunities, improving access to education and healthcare, protecting the environment, and boosting resilience to natural disasters.
Let me take a moment to recognize the dedicated men and women of the United Nations and our humanitarian partners for their tireless and admirable commitment to assisting refugee and Bangladeshi communities. These selfless hard working men and women provide life-saving services every day under very challenging conditions. We are proud to partner with them.
Because, it is only through these trusted NGOs and other partners, operating freely and openly, that the United States and other donors can deliver help to refugee and Bangladeshi populations in need. They are essential in ensuring Bangladesh does not bear sole responsibility for helping the refugee population. These organizations deserve our full support.
Let me close by again expressing my great respect and appreciation for the generosity, compassion and humanity of the government and people of Bangladesh. Your response to this crisis has been an example to the world. Please know the United States will continue to work with you and our NGO and international organization colleagues to help address the refugee crisis in ways that uphold humanitarian principles while benefiting all people in Cox’s Bazar.